Hornby fuels merger rumours with new chief executive appointment

Oxford Diecast's Lyndon Charles Davies has been named Hornby chief executive.
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Hornby has named a new chief executive in the form of Oxford Diecast’s Lyndon Charles Davies, fuelling rumours that a possible merger could be on the cards.

The Aim-listed company has made the appointment following recent boardroom upheaval, falling sales and flatlining share price.

The appointment follows the departure of Steve Cook in September who held the position of chief executive for just over a year.

Davies is the chairman and founder of Oxford Diecast, maker of toy cars, planes and trains, which has a turnover of around $5m.

Hornby has confirmed it was ‘exploring the opportunity to invest’ in Oxford’s holding company LCD as a result of Davies’ appointment, with the firm understood whether to be considering a full takeover of the company or a merger of operations.

Davies has also appointed two operational consultants to assist in Hornby’s turnaround. Simon Kohler previously worked with Hornby for 35 years, while Tim Mulhall was involved in the international distribution of the model maker’s products.

Hornby has taken a number of knocks over recent years, affected by supply chain problems and changing tastes in toys.

Majority shareholder Phoenix tightened its grip on the company earlier this year, by raising its stake to 72 per cent, triggering the resignation of Hornby chairman Roger Canham from the board as he is also chairman of Phoenix.

Interim chairman, David Adams, said: “[Mr Davies’] obvious expertise in and enthusiasm for the toy and hobby industry will provide the group with experienced leadership for the next stage of our development.”

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